Many have heard that TV has the potential to lower attention span, though not many take this warning seriously. And why should they? TV is a seemingly inescapable force and nearly everyone watches it'”why else would broadcasting companies and TV studious be raking in so much revenue? If TV really lowered attention span, wouldn’t that information…be all over the news?
While words of caution have yet to hit the air ways hard, a number of new studies are beginning to support TV’s correlation with attention span and behavior. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no child should view more than two hours of TV daily. New research being lead by Iowa State University has found that children who viewed any more than this suggested TV restriction are 1.5 to twice as likely to develop attention span defects, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. This is a compelling finding crucial to monitoring television consumption.
While the studies conducted by Iowa State University demonstrate the importance of limiting children’s access to TV in order to prevent issued related with attention span, another shocking study has found that exposing a toddler under the age of three to any sort of TV programs will make that child more likely to misbehave in school or perform poorly at math. The content of these TV shows is irrelevant; new evidence supports that even having your toddler in the room, even if they are distracted with their own toys or the TV content is “age appropriate”, will lead to eventual problems with attention span.
Today, psychologists are working on amounting enough evidence to convince parents that TV is more dangerous to developing children’s attention span than ever before conceived or imagined. While parents who continue to allow their children to interact with TV are generally unaware of this TV-attention span correlation, it is crucial to enlighten care givers of TV’s potential consequences on their children.
A word of advice? Parents don’t need Sesame Street to ensure children learn their colors and numbers. Teaching is an important part of quality time and will teach children that they can derive answers from their parents or other people. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Rather than relying on TV, parents may lead their children around the house and point out different hues or ask them to count household objects. Visits to zoos or even to a local park can substitute the lessons learned on TV. While this may be a little time consuming for busier parents, preserving their children’s attention span is sure to save them a lot of trouble later on.